Mel's Online Book Club: Precis Of The Reluctant Fundamentalist By Mohsin Hamid

Posted at 18:57pm on 14th January 2010
THIS PRECIS IS PROVIDED FOR MEL'S ONLINE BOOK CLUB (but may be reproduced by other Readers' Groups – see below).
Questions for Discussion will be posted on Thursday 21st January, 2010 when comments will be open for debate for six months.

PROTAGONIST

The story is presented as a first person monologue throughout by the protagonist, Changez, a young man of Pakistani birth and origin, but a graduate of an American university, and resident of Manhattan. Changez has met – by chance? – a nameless American tourist in a cafe in Lahore, and it is here, and to him, that he pours out the details of his doomed love affair with America.

PLOT

A high flyer, employed by a much respected firm, Underwood Samson, in the financial sector, whose motto is ‘Focus on the fundamentals’, Changez speaks of his enchantment with a young woman, Erica; the fragile nature of their romance; the tenuous pretence on which their sexual encounter is based; Erica’s ultimate mental and emotional disintegration in respect of the death of her childhood sweetheart, Chris.

PLOT DEVELOPMENT & DENOUEMENT

Contemplating his reaction to 9/11 Changez begins to grasp the parallels between his work / life balance; the ethics of his job; East and West; tradition and modernity. And as America undergoes its own mental and emotional disorder, so Changez experiences a shift in his own focus; a different mindset; other fundamentals.

MEL'S ONLINE BOOK CLUB

Mel’s Online Book Club has no ‘membership’ as such. Any visitor to my website is invited – no encouraged - to comment on this Discussion Summary, or, indeed, on the Questions I posed earlier.

Previously, Questions and Discussion Summaries for my real Readers’ Group have been posted as an event on my Diary page. However, I shall, in future, be posting these together on my blog to facilitate commenting. I do hope readers will take advantage of this opportunity to share together.

NB: COMMENTS HAVE BEEN DISABLED ON THIS POST. PLEASE GO TO THE FULL DISCUSSION TO LEAVE YOUR COMMENT AND TAKE PART IN THE DEBATE. Thank you.

This Book Club Précis, Questions or Discussion Summary may be reproduced in printed format or on any non-commercial website or blog on condition that it is unaltered, and that the following copyright line and bio are prominently displayed beneath it.

© Copyright Mel Menzies: USED BY PERMISSION
Author of a number of books, one a Sunday Times No 4 Bestseller, Mel Menzies runs an Online Book Club and is also an experienced Speaker at live events, as well as on Radio and TV. This article, in its original form, can be found at http://www.melmenzies.co.uk

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